Fraud Case: Fred Ajudua asks EFCC to try Bamaiyi for money laundering, others

A suspected fraudster and legal practitioner, Mr. Fred Ajudua, has asked a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prefer money laundering charges against a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi, (Rtd.).

In a fresh application filed before the court, Mr Ajudua is also challenging the competence of the 14 counts of fraud preferred against him for allegedly defrauding Gen Bamaiyi of about $5.9m (that’s about N1bn).

Mr. Ajudua contends that the former Chief of Army Staff’s petition and statements to the EFCC, amounts to a self-confession to various crimes, including conspiracy, aiding and abetting, money laundering and corrupting public officers.

The fresh application which came out before the court, effectively stalled the scheduled arraignment of Mr. Ajudua for allegedly swindling Rtd Gen Bamaiyi, an offence said to be committed between November 2004 and June 2005.

In the charges, the EFCC alleged that the accused person defrauded the former army chief while they were both on remand at Kirikiri prison in Apapa area of Lagos for allegedly committing separate crimes.

Mr. Ajudua was said to have defrauded Gen Bamaiyi through false claims that the money represented the professional fees charged by Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) to handle Bamaiyi’s case in court and to facilitate his release from prison.

The suspect’s counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, today argued that in view of previous Supreme Court decisions, an application challenging the competence of the charges should be taken first before the arraignment.

Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye has ordered the EFCC to respond to the application within seven days; the EFCC has two days to file any possible “further reply” to EFCC’s counter-affidavit.

The hearing of the application was then fixed for February 27.